11/21/18 – 8:00 a.m.
[Ed. Note: Longtime Wahoo and Friend of the Site Wahoo Josh is on hand in the Bahamas with the team, and he will be posting dispatches for HOOS Place. Thanks Josh!]
- Sometimes air travel sucks, especially through Atlanta. This time, I must give Delta Airlines credit. Our Monday night gate-to-gate schedule from RIC to ATL was 6:28 to 8:24 p.m. At 8:22 p.m. we were in our room at the Atlanta Gateway Marriott – Nice job Delta!
- As expected the Atlantis resort is spectacular, with high-end prices. The adult pool at The Cove featured “beautiful people,” to include miniscule swimwear, and $20 drinks after adding Value-Added Tax and automatic gratuity.
- Fans of all schools in the Battle 4 Atlantis are present, to include many from UVA that are happy to greet us as we are wearing UVA garb.
- I chatted with a couple supporting Dayton at the pool. He was a cheerleader at Dayton in the late 60s when they had some very strong teams, to include one that lost to Lew Alcindor and UCLA in the 1967 Final Four. He suggested that best final game match-up for this tournament would be UVA – Wisconsin. I politely disagreed, mentioning we get the Badgers often in the ACC – Big Ten Challenge. I told him we have unfinished business with Florida after two NCAA losses to them in the last six years. We agreed a UVA-Dayton matchup would be nice in the semifinals, as neither of us could recall the two teams ever playing each other.
- The Poop Deck, on the marina waterfront in Nassau, provided nice happy hours prices on rum drinks, and five members of our group loved the grilled or fried shrimp.
The Battle begins this afternoon, with the Hoos facing Middle Tennessee State in the final game at 9:30 tonight. My recent thoughts:
- Will the offense continue to feature the high screen and roll often? Ty Jerome seems very comfortable with it, and Mamadi Diakite can finish when Ty finds him after the pick. Check the video I took at the Towson game:
- Can we get more shots for Kyle Guy than Kihei Clark? It’s obvious Kihei has the green light, and was gratifying to see him make three treys vs. Coppin State. However, Clark took eight shots and Guy only five in that game. Our opponents will prefer that shot distribution, and I’m looking for Kyle to hunt his shot more this week.
- Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff scored 27 points in the absence of Jack Salt against Coppin State. The opposition was weak, but the result shows the trade-off between Jack’s screening and defense vs. the offensive capability of the others.
- Braxton Key has so far been the “glue guy,” and probably leads the team in rebounding. Will he seek his shot more, or continue to work patiently with the team context?
- I’m sure the coaches and fans are hoping for a decisive win vs. Middle Tennessee St, allowing the full roster plenty of minutes and keeping plenty in the tank for the next two games. I predict UVA 78, Middle Tennessee St 48.
Watch for more from Wahoo Josh as he and hundreds of other Hoos support our men in Paradise!